What We Learned from the Oklahoma Sooners’ win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders


It wasn’t the prettiest of Oklahoma football games. Though, this season has been hard to stomach in general.

The Oklahoma Sooners, who dropped out of the Top 25 after losing to Baylor last weekend, went in to Lubbock and managed to pull out a victory.

In Cody Thomas’ first career start, OU overcame a dreadful first half and pulled away late to earn a 42-30 win over the Red Raiders.

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This game offered a few takeaways:

Josh Heupel is great when nothing is really on the line. Sure, the Sooners didn’t look great in the first half and it looked like Texas Tech might run away with a meaningless win over OU. However, Heupel got his act together and…wait for it…RAN THE FOOTBALL. He even drew up a few read options and play-action passes that caught Tech off guard. Just brilliant stuff.

Aaron Ripkowski isn’t bad in short yardage. I’ve been wondering why Rip hasn’t been used more this season, but Heupel finally finally made use of a fullback in short yardage situations. For the most part, Rip did what was asked of him and even got a touchdown out of it.

Cody Thomas can run. You know, I figured as much as Heupel wanted Trevor to be a pocket passer, I thought Heup would be thrilled to have a quarterback like Cody Thomas under center. However, CT has some wheels. He’s not fast by any means, but he was doing some fine work moving the chains on the ground. If he can continue to work on getting the ball out to his receivers, he might do just fine while Knight recovers.

Tech’s run defense is as awful as we expected. Samaje Perine has so much potential to be great, but the Tech defense made him look like the next Adrian Peterson. And while Perine might be, the Tech run defense proved to be the downfall of an upset bid for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech did sell out for the run a lot of times, and it worked every now and then. However, OU exploited Tech’s defense in a big way by pounding the rock in the second half.

OU’s secondary should consider itself lucky. Oklahoma managed to make a few adjustments in the second half that paid off, but it’s a good thing Texas Tech didn’t get out to any big leads early. The Red Raiders were plagued by penalties that slowed down the game, but Oklahoma’s secondary too often left receivers wide open. I’m not sure what you change, but playing not so dang far off the line of scrimmage could be a helpful start.

Oklahoma is oddly good at overcoming adversity on the road. If you want to talk about one improvement with the Sooners is their ability to fight back on the road. It seems like a few years ago, OU had this stigma of being a bad road team. However, they showed in Morgantown and in Lubbock, and you can argue they gave TCU a hard fight in the second half as well, that Oklahoma can play away from Norman. Though, on the flip side, OU is losing more often at home, and that doesn’t bode well with fans who aren’t accustomed to seeing OU drop 34-point losses to little private schools in early November.

Tech needs to stop with the uniforms. The helmets were kinda cool today, but those jerseys had not ounce of swag. NOT ONE.

OU’s hopes for a Russell Athletic Bowl bid stay alive! This is great news for the Florida Sooners. Plus, this is good for those looking to kill two birds with one stone with the possibility of taking the family to Orlando for a warm winter vacation and see Oklahoma play. I’m not sure who their projected opponent would be, but the last time I checked bowl projections (which isn’t often, because it’s too depressing), Duke and Notre Dame were a few names that were being tossed around. An OU/ND Russell Athletic Bowl? Sign me up.